In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – How to Handle the Bible

Once we realize the power of Scripture, we long to read, understand, and implement it.

Psalm 1:1-3

The value we place on something determines how we treat it. For example, you probably wouldn’t give much thought to an old shoebox. But if someone put $10,000 inside it, you’d protect it. Similarly, once we realize the worth of Scripture, we no longer read merely out of obligation. Here are six things God tells us about how to read His “instruction manual for life.”

  1. Turn to it daily with eager expectation for what the Lord will reveal.
  2. Meditate upon the Word to more fully absorb its meaning and implications.
  3. Study God’s truth. There are a variety of ways to do this. For example, using a concordance or search engine, follow a specific word through the Old and New Testaments.
  4. Believe what the Lord says.
  5. Obey. In other words, apply what you read to your life situation.
  6. Share what you learn. This will encourage others while strengthening you and sinking the lesson deep in your heart.

The Bible is living truth that protects and guides, pierces and encourages. From it, we learn how to be saved. When we grasp Scripture’s value, our interaction with God’s Word will prove its worth.

Bible in One Year: Zechariah 6-10

Our Daily Bread — Where to Turn

Bible in a Year:

The Lord longs to be gracious to you.

Isaiah 30:18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Isaiah 30:12–18

Everyone in high school admired Jack’s easygoing attitude and athletic skill. He was happiest in midair above a half-pipe ramp—one hand holding his skateboard, the other stretched out for balance.

Jack decided to follow Jesus after he started attending a local church. Up to that point, he’d endured significant family struggles and had used drugs to medicate his pain. For a while after his conversion, things seemed to be going well for him. But years later he started using drugs again. Without the proper intervention and ongoing treatment, he eventually died of an overdose.

It’s easy to turn back to what’s familiar when we face difficulty. When the Israelites felt the distress of an upcoming Assyrian attack, they crawled back to the Egyptians—their former slave masters—for help (Isaiah 30:1–5). God predicted that this would be disastrous, but He continued to care for them although they made the wrong choice. Isaiah voiced God’s heart: “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion” (v. 18).

This is God’s attitude toward us, even when we choose to look elsewhere to numb our pain. He wants to help us. He doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves with habits that create bondage. Certain substances and actions tempt us with a quick sense of relief, but God wants to provide authentic healing as we walk closely with Him.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

Why is it important to recognize God’s grace in times of failure? How can you better mirror His faithfulness in your relationship with Him?

Dear God, please set me free from sinful patterns. Help me to turn to You when I’m tempted to find relief in something else.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Principles for Spiritual Victory

“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10).

You can be victorious!

This month we’ve learned many things about spiritual warfare that I pray will better equip you for victory in your Christian life. In concluding our brief study of Ephesians 6:10-18, here are some key principles I want you to remember:

  1. Remember that Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus came to destroy his works (1 John 3:8) and will someday cast him into eternal hell (Rev. 20:10).
  2. Remember the power of Christ in your life. John said, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The same power that defeated Satan indwells you. Consequently, you are never alone or without divine resources.
  3. Remember to resist Satan. You have the power to resist him, so don’t acquiesce to him by being ignorant of his schemes or deliberately exposing yourself to temptation.
  4. Keep your spiritual armor on at all times. It’s foolish to enter combat without proper protection.
  5. Let Christ control your attitudes and actions. The spiritual battle we’re in calls for spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-4), so take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (v. 5). Feed on the Word and obey its principles.
  6. Pray, pray, pray! Prayer unleashes the Spirit’s power. Be a person of fervent and faithful prayer (cf. James 5:16).

God never intended for you to live in spiritual defeat. I pray you’ll take advantage of the resources He has supplied that your life might honor Him. Enjoy sweet victory every day!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for His promise of ultimate victory in Christ.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 6:10-18.

  • Review each piece of armor.
  • Is any piece missing from your personal defense system? If so, determine what you will do to correct the deficiency.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Experience God’s Love

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]….

— Ephesians 3:19 (AMPC)

I sense the Holy Spirit urging me this morning to meditate on how much God loves me, and I want to urge you to do the same thing. God doesn’t love us because we deserve it, but simply because He is love, and He delights in loving us.

Although we walk by faith and we don’t base what we believe on mere experience or what we see with our natural eyes, it is nonetheless encouraging and energizing when we do see and experience the manifestation of our faith. God’s Word teaches us to pray to experience His Love, and to be conscious and aware of His Love (see 1 John 4:16, Ephesians 3:19).

Watch daily for all the ways in which God reveals His love for you. It may be in giving you favor, or providing something you enjoy, or giving you great joy. He can reveal Himself in countless ways and learning how to recognize them is not only an exciting adventure, but it also feeds and builds our faith.

God loves you more than you can imagine. He loves you every moment of your life, and He is reaching out to you right now with His healing and energizing love. Receive it!

Prayer of the Day: Father, teach me to recognize all the ways in which You reveal Your love to me. Let me experience it, enjoy it, and share it with other people, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – One Mind, One Purpose, One Spirit

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 2:2-3

While it is of course beneficial for church members to take initiative in ministry, a healthy body of believers will not be driven by individual ideas and agendas. Our minds must first be united in the gospel if the church is truly going to be under Christ’s headship. Without that unity, we will instead be driven by our own selfish and competing desires and agendas.

The Bible has so much to say about our minds because as we think, so we are. When we train our minds to think correctly, we will then learn to love properly and serve together in one spirit and purpose. Part of our mental battle is rooted in our old, selfish, human nature. One of our greatest stumbling blocks is not so much hate as self-love: we are inclined toward an attitude of conceit, which runs completely counter to the character of our Lord, and our lack of humility becomes an obstacle that prevents us from experiencing harmony with those around us. Even our good deeds often have tainted motives.

If we are to be unified in Christ, we cannot insist on our own way. Instead, we need to “count others more significant than ourselves.” This means that we remind ourselves of the best in others before thinking of ourselves, that we are quicker to ask what would be best for others than what would be most convenient for ourselves, and that we are willing to enter into the lives and struggles of others rather than standing aloof. Genuine humility doesn’t take the front seat or begin with “me” all the time. It is instead “the nothingness that makes room for God to prove his power.”[1] It is a trait, Paul tells us, that Jesus Himself exhibited: “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself” (Romans 15:2-3).

When we think of ourselves first, it is difficult—impossible, in fact—to put God’s word into action. But when we learn to put others first, we will be far more ready to care for their concerns before our own. In so doing, we can truly be unified within the body of Christ. You likely know people who exhibit this kind of godly humility. Praise God for them now, and pray that you will see how you can follow their example—and, supremely, follow the example of Christ Himself. He counted what you needed as of greater significance than His own comfort—even than His own life. Paul’s challenge to each of us is this: “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5, NIV).


John 3:22-36

Topics: Christian Living Christian Thinking Unity


1 Andrew Murray, Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, 2nd ed. (1896), p 50.

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants Us to Live by Faith

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38–39).

How is a person saved? You have probably memorized a verse that gives the answer to that question. Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace, through faith. If you are a Christian today, you were saved only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But does that mean that we Christians don’t need faith anymore? No, we need faith for the rest of our lives! All of the Christian life is like a long journey toward Heaven, and the road that we’re traveling could be called “Faith.” God says that “the just,” or those who have been made righteous through Christ (Christians), will live by faith.

Faith, as Hebrews 11:1 explains, means being confident of something that we cannot see. If there is anything in your life right now that seems difficult, sad, or confusing, God is asking you to live by faith. You cannot see how the situation is going to turn out. You cannot see what direction your life will take in the future. Perhaps you are having trouble seeing anything good about the situation you are in. If that is the case, you are going through a trial that God is using to strengthen your faith. He wants to see whether—and how much—you will trust Him, even when you can’t see all of the answers, results, and reasons.

What do you know about the God you cannot see? You know that He is wise. You know that He loves you. You know that He wants you to grow into a stronger, more contented, and happier Christian. So exercise some faith! Believe that God is working for your good in ways that you cannot understand right now. Praise Him for the things He is doing and for the things He is going to do in the future. It takes faith to do this—but faith is what we live by!

God wants us to live by faith when things happen that we can’t understand.

My response:

» What do I need to have faith about?

» What seems sad, confusing, or difficult in my life today?

» Am I complaining and questioning God about it, or am I living by faith, trusting God even when I can’t see any good?

Denison Forum – The latest on Hurricane Ian: Did a Native American blessing protect Tampa Bay?

 “Her only way out is on a boat.” That’s what a daughter told rescuers in North Fort Myers about her mother, whose home was swamped by five feet of water. “We don’t know when the water’s going to go down. We don’t know how they’re going to leave, their cars are totaled,” she said.

This is just one of the stories emerging from Florida, which was hit by the fifth-largest hurricane ever to strike the US when Hurricane Ian came ashore Wednesday afternoon. Emergency crews are working to rescue trapped residents from flooded homes; President Biden warned that there may be “substantial loss of life” in the state. About 2.6 million customers are still without power this morning.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “The impacts of this storm are historic, and the damage that was done has been historic.” An insurance expert warned that the hurricane could cost $30 billion in losses, which would be “one of the most severe loss events in US history.” One Florida Gulf Coast resident said she’s lived in the area for nearly thirty years and had not seen damage this extensive. “This is the first time that I’ve ever lost everything,” she said.

Now Ian has reached hurricane strength again and is expected to make landfall in South Carolina today. More devastation is still to come.

As horrific as these days have been, on a numeric level they could have been even worse. The Tampa Bay region was the largest metropolitan area in the potential path of the storm. Earlier this week, the hurricane was on a trajectory to make a direct hit on the city.

Then the storm turned.

“Thank goodness for the Tocobagans”

Residents around the Tampa Bay region were urged to evacuate Tuesday as they prepared for what was predicted to be their first direct hurricane hit since October 25, 1921. In the century since, their area has grown from a few hundred thousand people to more than three million today.

Many live in low-lying neighborhoods that are highly susceptible to storm surges and flooding. A 2015 report concluded that Tampa Bay is the most vulnerable place in the US to storm surge from a hurricane. A National Weather Service meteorologist called such a disaster “our worst-case scenario for the Tampa Bay area.”

Then, Tuesday evening the hurricane shifted east, sparing Tampa Bay a direct hit. Why?

Here’s one explanation: according to local legend, blessings from Native Americans who once called the region home have largely protected it from major storms for centuries. The legend includes the many sacred burial mounds built by the Tocobagan tribe, which some believe were meant as guardians against invaders, including hurricanes.

When Hurricane Irma weakened before it struck the area in 2017, a local historian said, “I wasn’t a believer before, but I am now. Thank goodness for the Tocobagans is all I have to say.”

However, another resident said, “I don’t know if I believe that legend. I do believe in the power of God.”

Five ways to pray effectively

Those of us who “believe in the power of God” know that praying for God’s power is essential to experiencing his best. We are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), remembering the warning, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Prayer does not earn God’s favor—it positions us to receive what his grace intends to give.

But, for what exactly are we to pray?

Let’s consider this paradoxical principle: Pray to God as if you were God. I know that sounds a bit heretical, but let me explain. If I were God, this is how I would want you to pray to me for the victims of Hurricane Ian and for anyone else in need of intercession today:

Be specific. No one, not even God, can answer generic prayers that have no answers. “Be with us,” for example, is not only unnecessary since Jesus promised he would be with us “always” (Matthew 28:20)—it is also impossible to quantify. If you wouldn’t know when God answered your prayer, your prayer is not specific enough.

Be bold. He is God, and “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). So “let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Charles Spurgeon noted: “Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline his ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay his hand; thy faith can move his arm.”

Be honest. God already knows your heart (1 John 3:20) and invites you to “reason together” with him (Isaiah 1:18); the Hebrew is literally translated as “argue it out.” If Jesus could ask “why,” so can you (Matthew 27:46). If Paul could plead for God to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” so can you (2 Corinthians 12:8). When you don’t have faith, you can pray for the faith to have faith (Mark 9:24).

Be persistent. Jesus taught us to “ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). The Greek says literally, “Ask and keep on asking.” It’s not that persistent prayer changes God—it positions us to be changed by God. Right now, you and I are thinking about God. When we pray, we connect with him. And no one who truly experiences God can be the same.

Be childlike. One of the reasons Jesus called us to “become like children” (Matthew 18:3) is that children often trust their parents more than their parents trust their Father. Ask your hard questions, but know that your fallen and finite mind cannot by definition understand the supernatural mind of God (Isaiah 55:9). Ask for what you want but trust your Lord for what is best.

“The will to win is wasted”

Whenever and for whomever you pray, look for ways the Lord wants to use you to answer your prayers.

God is “able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, my emphasis). We are the hands and feet of Jesus, the body by which he continues his earthly ministry today (1 Corinthians 12:27). He touched hurting bodies with his hands; today he touches them with ours. He spoke to people needing God’s word with his voice; today he speaks to them with ours.

The bestselling author James Clear noted, “The will to win is wasted if it is directed toward trivial affairs.”

Toward what “affairs” will you direct your prayers and your actions today?

Denison Forum